Streamlining Projects and Next Actions
I had stuff in these lists that just didn't belong there. For example, I put my work-defined yearly MBOs into my project list. This is inappropriate for at least two reasons: I don't work on every MBO at once, and because they often consist of many subprojects. So, what do I do with them?
Working in Outlook Tasks, I just defined four new categories: .1purpose, .2vision, .3goals, .4AreasOfFocus. Then I renamed my .projects category to .5projects. Then I closed the first 4 -- so now, in Outlook Tasks, I see the first four categories as a hierarchy, and I can open them and look at them, if I want -- but I focus on the ones that are open -- .5projects and my @context categories. I suppose I could go even further: close the projects category and just leave my current context open.
This is getting exciting -- I can see clearly now
(by the way -- I put the yearly MBOs into the .3goals category)
Last edited by ArcCaster; 07-29-2010 at 08:16 AM.
I use Outlook to manage my personal system as well. I've started storing goals with identifyable outcomes in a new category called "Goals". Like projects, I review them regularly and see if I'm still on track to meet them. However, items in this list are really 30,000 ft goals that can be marked off as "done".
I don't feel that the Tasks list in Outlook is appropriate for every Horizon of Focus (HOF). Not everything in GTD can be marked off as "done". Purpose and Areas of Responsibility are things that are never really completed but they can change over time. Even the 40,000 ft level (3-5 year vision) isn't really something that you can check off as done; it's a vision or picture of how you want your life to be. These HOFs can be best clarified and documented as mission statements, a descriptive list of your values and core principles, mindmaps and/or reference lists of your key focus areas in your life (stored in Notes under "Focus Areas").
Things that clarify direction for me are hierarchy and sequence.
So, I now have a hierarchy of purpose, vision, goals, areas of focus, and projects. In Outlook Tasks, I keep them all unexpanded, so they only take up an inch of screen. But they are there if I need to remind myself where anything fits.
I just expanded the above to my context lists. They used to be in alphabetical order, which was not logical. So, I imposed an order on them by prefacing them with numbers.
Now, they are @1calls, @2computer, @3errands, @4home, @5waitingFor
So, calls and computer are always in front of me, errands are typically on my way out the door, so I scroll down a tad for them, home is later, so that is out of sight towards the bottom of the screen, and waitingfor is intermittant, when I have a moment to breathe, so that is also at the bottom.
I still have other contexts that I have not ordered yet -- somedaymaybe, read, listen, etc -- but, because they are not numbered, they are WAY down at the bottom -- I can find them if I want them, but they are not put in my face by default.